Quebec, QC Citadel Fire, Jul 1887



QUEBEC, July 7.---The fire in this city last night broke out in the stables attached to the barracks at the Citadel. The stable picket is said to have been asleep. The stables and the sheds on the ramparts are built entirely of wood, and it is the general belief that wooden buildings in such an important fortress as the Citadel, and in a place where large quantities of powder are stored should not have been tolerated. The excited citizens did not seek their homes until 3 o'clock this morning. The most intense alarm prevailed throughout the city until the fire was got thoroughly under control. At one time there were fully 5,000 men, women, and children walking about the streets. Many made their way to the surrounding country in carriages and carts and on foot, fearing an explosion of the powder in the magazine would occur. This feeling was, perhaps, the most manifest along Champlain-street, right under the great fortress, as it was known that a great fortress, as it was known that a great quantity of powder was stored therein. When, therefore, several explosions occurred at midnight the people held their breath and sought the best shelter available. The crowd on the glacis and on the hill leading to the Citadel made a terrible rush down the hill till they got where they supposed themselves out of range of the dangerous missiles. This alarm subsided somewhat when it was found that no damage was caused, and the subsequent explosions caused little fear. The Governor-General's and officer's quarters, stables of artillery, hospital, and the provincial armory, which contains 25,000 stand of arms, were uninjured. The loss is estimated at $150,000; no insurance.

The New York Times, New York, NY 8 Jul 1887